The gendered shaping of academic career in Italy: a case study

Silvana Salvini, Università di Firenze
Elena Pirani, Università di Firenze
Alessandra Petrucci, Università di Firenze

Over recent years, a new emphasis of European policies has been addressed to the need to promote equal opportunities and equal participation to women and men in research’s career, and guarantee gender balance in decisional roles in research activities. In Italy, the research and academic working environment does not seem free from gender differentials. The ultimate aim of this study is to investigate gender differences in career trajectories. As a case study we focus on the University of Florence. Data come from a specific survey on family and academic careers carried out on both permanent and temporary academic staff of the University of Florence. All in all, we found that the careers trajectories at the University of Florence are gendered shaping. In particular, whereas we proved an equal gender distribution in the first stages of academic career – i.e., as for Research Assistant positions – we found a gender gap in the progression toward higher roles – i.e., Associate and Full Professor positions. These differences are particularly relevant in some scientific and research fields, for instance the technology and the scientific one, and to a lesser extent also in the social sciences one, within which women have lower probabilities of carrier progression. We did not find evidence that this gender gap is attributable to individuals’ choices about their family life, for instance linked to childhood or union formation. At this stage, it seems that, although gender balances are not dramatic, several advancements are needed in Italy in order to transform academia towards a more gender equal environment.

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Presented in Poster Session 1